By DAN KARELL
The U.S. Women’s National Team will be missing one of their key cogs in the midfield come next summer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Following the conclusion of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which saw the USWNT end a 16-year title drought, midfielder Lauren Holiday announced her international retirement. Holiday cited being closer to her family the reason for hanging up the U.S. jersey. SI.com first reported the news.
“I am so happy. These are not tears of (sadness), I just hadn’t really talked to anyone about it much yet,” Holiday told USWNT fans at an event in Los Angeles, via USA Today. “This is where I was supposed to be for so many years. I gave my all to soccer, the sport, and this team and I am excited for a new chapter of my life.
“This isn’t something that happened overnight. My goal was to win an NWSL championship and a World Cup and I did it.
“I feel like this team isn’t my identity, it is my choice,” Holiday said. “There is power in making a choice. I chose this team for 10 years and now I am going to choose my family.”
Over her career, Holiday has made 130 appearances for the USWNT, scoring 24 goals, including the game-winner against Japan in the USA’s 5-2 thrashing in the World Cup final. The 27-year-old midfielder was first capped as a 20-year-old while at UCLA, and became a regular in the team by 2011.
The Indianapolis-native will continue to play her club soccer with FC Kansas City for at least the rest of the 2015 season.
It’s unclear whether Holiday will take part in the USWNT’s victory tour of matches this fall or whether the World Cup final was truly her last match in a USWNT jersey.
What do you think of this news? Sad to see Holiday go? Who do you see replacing her in the lineup?
Share your thoughts below.